Lubomir Stoykov
Prof. D. Sc. Lubomir Stoykov
– – Editor-in-Chief of
“Fashion Lifestyle Magazine”

Hardly anyone will begin to argue how difficult it is to be original and unique in fashion and fashion design. And not only in the art of creating and wearing clothes, accessories and ornaments. It is becoming more and more difficult for artists in other areas of art as well - cinema and theater, literature and painting, music and dance. Perhaps it is precisely the challenge of creating new and unknown artistic products, the difficulty of "saying something new" in a given cultural sphere that increases the cases of permitted and unauthorized creative borrowing, of allegedly innocent thefts or of outright plagiarism.

Uniqueness in fashion design is a function of innovative and unconventional thinking, creative courage and limitless imagination. In fashion circles, quarrels and scandals often break out in connection with the unauthorized copying of clothes of some designers by other of their colleagues. The memory of Giorgio Armani's sudden outburst years ago against his younger colleagues at Dolce & Gabbana has not been erased. The occasion? Stolen original design idea or more accurately copied pants shown at the men's fashion week in Milan some time ago. According to Armani, his younger colleagues stole his concept and idea, and according to Dolce and Gabbana, there is no such thing, and they, who have always learned from the more mature Italian designers, vow to eliminate from this list the name of their accuser in plagiarism.

The legal action, for example, brought by Yves Saint Laurent against Ralph Lauren in connection with established plagiarism by the American designer in relation to an evening dress of his famous French colleague is emblematic. After Lauren's wrongdoing was proven, Yves Saint Laurent's business partner, Pierre Bergé, publicly stated that the vindication was: “...A great encouragement to our fellow designers. This is a clear warning that the so-called designers, especially those from America, cannot avoid copying the original ideas from the real creators of fashion.” Terry Egins, one of the in-depth researchers of fashion, however, does not fail to recall the shameful fact from the creative biography of Yves Saint Laurent himself, when years earlier he was found guilty of plagiarizing a bullfighter jacket from Jacques Esterel.

Non-originality in fashion seems to be becoming mainstream! There are plenty of cases of design plagiarism using the copy / paste "method". The harmful practice is "enriched" by drastic cases of loans, damaging famous designers and brands such as Karl Lagerfeld for "Chanel", Diane von Furstenberg, "Burberry", "Chloe" and many others. Fake clothes are a separate long and large topic, i.e. outright theft of intellectual property.

In Bulgaria, you can also hear the complaints of our famous designers about the unethical attitude of their colleagues or fashion houses that mechanically copy and reproduce the design of their works - dresses, bustiers, corsets, skirts, blouses, etc. In a number of cases these complaints are well-founded, but if experts delve deeper into the style of those complaining about theft and borrowing, it is not surprising to find that they, in turn, took something from either Cavalli or Armani, or from Ungaro or Lagerfeld. Perhaps one of the most drastic cases in this regard was the scandalous theft of Jana Jekova's outfit by her business partner, who entered a dress of our famous designer, given to him for sale, in an elite Austrian haute couture competition, but under his own name! The curious thing was that the dress won the first place and thanks to the media and publicity, the victim Jana Jekova found out about this transgression / crime. She did not have enough nerve, strength, and probably funds to file a lawsuit in Vienna on the occasion of the plagiarism that had upset her.

Is uniqueness in fashion? We need this pointless question to the extent that we once again delve into the principles of art and the right of everyone to be modern. Perfect design and adequate appearance are unthinkable without original, fresh and different fashion. But for a designer to be original, he should have a brilliant knowledge of the classics, but also be insanely brave in the realization of his ideas. An example of this is the great fashion aces of the last 150 years, and at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, creators such as Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto, Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan, Victor and Rolf, Ray Kawakubo and Martin Margiela, André Courrèges, Karl Lagerfeld, Demna Gvasalia, Dries van Noten, Iris van Herpen, Alessandro Michele and many more. They are ready to turn their backs on functionality for the sake of discovering and imposing the new form, or to ignore the classical axioms of construction to give way to deconstructivism and the unusual but unique silhouette.

Uniqueness in fashion is not only an aesthetic but also a moral issue. Respect for intellectual property, respect for the rights of first discovery of form, construction, matter and color combination is a part - a very important part of this art. Creative originality is a great and irreplaceable value, its gross disrespect cannot be justified, forgiven, and least of all - excused.

Read: 457 times                                                  © Fashion Lifestyle Magazine, issue 121, December 2022


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